Best car insurance in Virginia for 2021

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Virginia is home to rich history and beautiful landscapes. The state also has over 5.8 million licensed drivers. Virginia drivers pay an average cost of car insurance of $1,304 per year, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums. Since drivers are required to carry at least minimum levels of liability coverage, finding the best car insurance in Virginia might be important to residents.

When searching for car insurance, Virginia drivers may want to research several companies. Bankrate used Quadrant Information Services to obtain up-to-date premium information from companies in Old Dominion. Our editorial team reviewed and analyzed this data, along with the companies’ J.D. Power scores, financial strength scores, available coverages, discount offerings and claims satisfaction scores to determine the best insurance companies in Virginia.

Best car insurance companies in Virginia

Not all insurance companies may suit your specific needs when it comes to auto insurance. To find the best companies in Virginia, Bankrate reviewed multiple aspects of each company, including average premiums, coverages, discounts and third-party ratings, including J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction ratings for the Mid-Atlantic region. Our exclusive Bankrate Score is based on our methodology, which analyzes industry average rates from Quadrant Information Services and third-party agency ratings.

Our insurance editorial team then conducted a qualitative analysis, comparing each company’s rates and scores against critical factors like customer satisfaction, financial strength and policy resources. Based on our proprietary analysis, these top five carriers offer the best auto insurance in Virginia:

Car insurance company Bankrate Score Average annual premium for full coverage J.D. Power score
Erie 4.3 $1,025 856 / 1,000
Geico 3.8 $1,227 835 / 1,000
Nationwide 4.1 $770 823 / 1,000
State Farm 4.5 $993 851 / 1,000
Travelers 4.4 $910 836 / 1,000

Erie

With coverage in just 12 states, Erie is considered a regional insurance company. If you are looking for a company with local agents, Erie may be a good place to start your search. Although its premiums are already lower than Virginia’s average, Erie offers several discounts to help you save even more. An especially attractive feature is the accident forgiveness option, which forgives one accident to protect policyholders from increased insurance premiums. You can also earn a deductible reduction of $100 for every year you do not file a claim. Erie has the second-highest ranking for customer satisfaction in the Mid-Atlantic region and outscores other popular providers in our Bankrate scoring model.

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

Geico

If budget is your primary concern, Geico may be a good company for you. Although its full coverage premium is the highest on our list, Geico is known for offering a host of discounts to help policyholders. You may be able to save by being a safe driver, a federal employee or a military service member. Geico also has an extensive customer portal on its website and a user-friendly mobile app. You can file a claim, call for roadside assistance and pay your bill without ever needing to talk to a representative. Geico trails behind the regional industry average for J.D. Power Mid-Atlantic ratings, but still ranks considerably higher than other providers.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Nationwide

Nationwide offers the lowest full coverage premium on our list and may be a good choice if you are on a budget. The company offers standard auto insurance coverages with a few options for customization, including roadside assistance and gap insurance. Discounts are also available to those who qualify. Although Nationwide receives a below-industry-average score from J.D Power, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reports a lower-than-average number of complaints associated with Nationwide’s private passenger auto insurance products.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

State Farm

State Farm is the largest insurer of private passenger auto policies in the United States. For Virginia drivers, the company offers an average full coverage premium that is well below state average, as well as discounts that may lower your premium even more. If you like having all your financial products in one place, State Farm may be a good option with banking and investment products, as well as health, life and property insurance. The company also earns the highest Bankrate Score and specializes in having local agents who may be more familiar with the needs of Virginia drivers than an online representative.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Travelers

Travelers comes in just below the industry average for customer satisfaction, but it still receives a high Bankrate score based on its multifaceted coverage. There are several options that allow you to tailor your auto policy to your specific needs, including ridesharing coverage, gap insurance and new car replacement coverage. The company also offers numerous other insurance products, including home, umbrella and boat insurance. Bundling all your policies with Travelers might earn you a discount. In addition to a multi-policy discount, you may be able to save by owning a home, even if you do not insure it with Travelers. You may also qualify for a discount if you own a new car, an electric car or a hybrid car.

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review

Average cost of car insurance cost in Virginia

When it comes to auto insurance, Virginia drivers pay quite a bit less than the national average for both minimum coverage and full coverage.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Virginia Average annual premium for full coverage in Virginia
$441 $1,304

The national average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $1,674 per year for full coverage and $565 for minimum coverage. Virginia’s average premiums are significantly cheaper, with an annual rate of $1,304 for full coverage and $441 for minimum coverage. However, your price will likely be different. Auto insurance prices are determined by a number of factors, such as age, gender, marital status, type of vehicle, driving record, credit history and location. It is the combination of these rating factors with a company’s proprietary rating algorithm that creates your personalized rate with that company.

State minimum insurance requirements in Virginia

Like most states, Virginia requires drivers to carry a minimum level of certain auto insurance coverages to drive legally. Drivers in Virginia must carry at least the following levels of coverage:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $20,000 property damage

Although buying minimum coverage could mean that you pay a lower premium, most insurance agents agree that you should purchase higher liability limits. If you cause an accident, state minimum coverage limits may not be enough to pay for the full damages and could leave you with out-of-pocket expenses. Minimum limits also do not include any coverage for damage to your vehicle. Additionally, if you finance your car with a loan or lease, your lender likely requires you to carry full coverage.

Virginia’s car insurance laws also allow you to pay a $500 fee to register and drive your vehicle legally without car insurance. To qualify for this, you must also attest that you are financially able to pay for any damages and injuries that you might cause out of your own pocket.

How to get the best car insurance

No two car insurance providers are the same. One of the best ways to find the right options for you is to compare multiple companies based on coverages and cost. When collecting quotes from insurers and looking at their features, you may want to:

  • Evaluate your needs: Auto insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product. Everyone has unique needs that influence the coverage options that they might consider. When shopping for auto insurance, you may want to think about your budget, the value of your vehicle and your broader financial goals. Some drivers in Virginia may drive more miles each year than others, for example, and benefit from providers with low-mileage discounts.
  • Consider state factors: The region you live in has a considerable influence on the type of coverage you need. The state’s coastal areas are subject to flooding and hurricanes. Virginia also has dense traffic, creating a higher risk for road accidents, and a high incidence of crimes and uninsured drivers that threaten auto safety across the state. These are some of the location-based factors that you may want to consider when buying a Virginia auto insurance policy.

Auto insurance discounts in Virginia

Although car insurance in Virginia is not as expensive as in some other states, there are still ways to save. Taking advantage of discounts is one of the best ways to lower your auto insurance premium. Some common discounts in Virginia include:

  • Multi-policy and multi-car discounts: If you have more than one insurance policy, such as homeowners and auto insurance, you may save by insuring them with the same company. You can also often get a discount for insuring multiple vehicles with one company.
  • Paperless discounts: If you elect to receive your policy documents or billing statements via email rather than by postal mail, you may be eligible for a discount.
  • Vehicle safety discounts: If your vehicle has safety features like side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes or forward collision warning, you may earn a discount.
  • Good student discounts: If you have a teen on your auto insurance policy who is a full-time student and who maintains a B or better letter grade average, you may be eligible for a discount.

Every company offers a different selection of discounts. If you are not sure if you are taking advantage of your company’s savings options, you might want to call your agent.

Frequently asked questions

What is the cheapest car insurance company in Virginia?

The cheapest car insurance company will be different for everyone. Auto insurance premiums depend on factors like your age, address and driving history. If you are shopping for auto insurance in Virginia, it may be helpful to first identify your unique needs and then get quotes from several companies to compare them.

How much car insurance do I need?

While Virginia car insurance laws require car insurance for all drivers, the amount of car insurance that you need is different for every driver. When determining how much coverage to buy, it is important to consider the total value of your vehicle so you know what costs you would be facing should you experience a total loss. Before you purchase your policy, you can ask your insurance provider about any additional coverage that may best benefit your needs.

What do I need to get car insurance in Virginia?

When applying for insurance coverage, you will need your vehicle information, including the VIN and the make and model of the car. You will also need the date of birth and driver’s license number for every driver. If you have current auto insurance, it can be helpful to have your declaration page available to reference, as it should have this information on it.

Do I need full coverage car insurance in Virginia?

If you are financing your vehicle, your lender will probably require you to have full coverage. Virginia’s minimum required liability insurance does not protect your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled. Even if you do not have a loan or lease on your vehicle, you may want to consider full coverage car insurance so that you have the financial protection for damages to your own vehicle. Talking to a licensed insurance agent may help you determine if full coverage is right for you.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Bankrate Scores

Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.